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Appeals Council Review

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2725. Appeals Council Review

2725.1 How do you request an Appeals Council review?

If you are not satisfied with the action of the ALJ, whether a decision or a dismissal of your case, you may request a review by the Appeals Council.

You, or your authorized representative, must request an Appeals Council review in writing within 60 days after the date you received the notice of the ALJ's decision. (See section 2721.3 for information about when we presume you received our notice.)

2725.2 What happens when the Appeals Council receives your request?

The Appeals Council will thoroughly examine your claim and decide whether to deny, grant or dismiss your request for a review of the ALJ's action. It will notify you of its decision. See §2014.

If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, you or your representative may appear before the Appeals Council in Falls Church, Virginia. At the review, you can present oral arguments or submit written statements in support of your case. If you want to travel to the United States to appear at the review, we cannot pay your travel expenses.

The Appeals Council decision, or the ALJ decision if the Appeals Council denied the request for review, is binding unless you file an action in a U.S. District Court or we reopen and revise the decision under the rules in section 2728.

Last Revised: Apr. 18, 2006

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